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Monday, February 14, 2011

NEWS & POLITICS - Group of investors wants to link US fliers to airport in Tijuana

TIJUANA – The Flores family’s frequent trips to visit family in Mexico begin with a two-hour drive from their suburban Los Angeles home to San Diego, followed by a quick jaunt across the border to the Tijuana airport for the flight to Guadalajara. Getting there is breeze, but the trip home can take twice as much time due to long lines of cars waiting to cross back onto U.S. soil.
“It’s a waste of time, but we save money by flying out of here,” Noel Flores of Rosemead said as he waited with his parents for a flight out of A.L. Rodriguez International Airport.
A shorter trip could be just steps away if a group of Mexican and American investors, including real estate mogul Sam Zell, is able to build a pedestrian bridge connecting ground transportation on the American side of the border to the Tijuana airport.
Supporters of the plan believe it will help relieve traffic at two nearby border crossings, maximize use of the Tijuana airport, and steer Southern Californians away from other international airports in the region.
The $78 million project calls for a two-story building and parking lot in Otay Mesa, an industrial district on the southernmost end of San Diego, where passengers can park their cars or get dropped off, pick up their boarding passes inside a lobby before going through U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoints. From there, they can pay a fee to walk across the 525-foot bridge and reach the Tijuana airport where they can show their passports to Mexican immigration officers before proceeding to security check-ins and boarding.
The investors conducted a market study that projects that by 2012, when they hope to complete construction of the facility, about 2 million passengers – half of the total who’ll use the airport – would be crossing the border.
Source: http://www.thenews.com.mx/index.php/mexico/M02-6845.htm